Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 90 - Heading to Cusco!

Wow, such a great week, lots of fun stuff and lots of good things happening. First of all, transfers.......drum roll please. Im heading out of Puno after 5 transfers there and now Im finally going to Cusco! Ive wanted to go there my whole time in the mission, because its called Peru Cusco Mission....and my new area is called Villa Union. My new companion is Elder Estigarribia, he is from Paraguay. He seems pretty fun and ready to work, so Im excited to see what is going to happen. The transfers came out of no where though....we got a call from the zone leaders Sunday night saying that I have to leave Monday morning to Cusco because of some strike that was going to happen in Puno Tuesday and Wednesday. So I had to pack up everything yesterday and say goodbye to all of the people in Huajsapata. I said bye to all the people I could and it was sad, I didnt like it. But 7 months there was good, now off to probably finish my mission here in Cusco!

Also this week we had Ivan's baptism!!! Ivan has been prepared by the Lord to be baptized into the church and he was so excited too. I had the great privilege to baptize him and help him make that covenant with our Father in Heaven. Lots of members came to support him and many of the youth of the ward too, great support from them. But the baptism went well, all on time, and I always love when converts give their testimonies after. I always feel the spirit strong, Ivan gave a powerful testimony of the truth and that he knew what he was doing was correct, it just makes me so happy to hear all about it. 

But we had a great week visiting the members, helping our investigators come closer to Christ and many other wonderful things. But I had a great time with Elder Yepez, great Elder, but now to work these last few months and see what the Lord has in store for me and my companion. Sorry for writing so late, but I was travelling since 8:30am until about 3:30.......hope you enjoy! Oh and I forgot my camera so I will have to send all the pictures of the baptism and transfers next week, so lots of pictures next week!! Love you guys!!

Week 89 - Progressing the work!

Things are great here in Huajsapata, another eventful week full of work and serving the Lord a little more in Peru. It wasnt full of lessons like the other week, but we are still seeing the hand of the Lord in this ward's progress. 

Ivan is getting baptized this Saturday!!! He passed his interview, is super excited to be baptized, and has asked me to baptize him. I'm privileged to be able to excercise the Priesthood and help him make a covenant with our Heavenly Father! We are so happy and excited for him, and just getting the baptismal service all set up for Saturday. Also  this week, we started teaching Jhefferson, Antonia's little son that wasnt baptized, so we are preparing him for June 25th. His older brother has his mission call and is probably the one to baptize him, but he is doing well also. Antonia also is doing super well, she came to stake conference yesterday and is completing with her committments too. June will probably be her date of reactivation. We havent found many other investigators that are progressing yet, but we have a few we just need to find and have  lessons. Im pretty sure this next month will be great for Huajsapata. 

Yesterday was also stake conference for Stake Bellavista here in Puno, we had the privilege to be with an Area 70, Elder Alarcon. Also President and Hermana Harbertson were there giving some wonderful talks to the stake members. Hermana Harbertson gave such a wonderful talk, talking about how we have to apply the doctrine of Christ every day and the blessings too. President spoke about how the members came help the missionaries fulfill their responsibilities and callings, and they were very spiritual. Their last talks to our stake because their mission is ending next month, so it was emotional for many. Crazy that I was in Puno for the last stake conference in November......time flies!! Also Saturday, I had the privilege to interview 2 investigators from the sisters in my district and I always love doing the interviews. They are very spiritual and really are nice to see how the investigators are ready to make that covenant of baptism, and they both passed. So the mission is ready for this Saturday, a mission wide White Out, or Baptism Night. It shoudl be great!!!

Well, not much else is going on, sorry if my emails are boring.....sometimes it's just full of work. And that's the beauty of it, working in this great work of salvation and helping many of God's children come unto Him again! Loving it so much here, until next week everyone!!

1-9. Wagner, Elder Yepez and I went up to the big hill next to our house. During Easter, this hill is used to adore this huge cross and make sacrifices to it too. Pretty weird, but the view is great of Lake Titicaca and all of Puno.

 10-11. These less actives had a rifle so we took pictures with it....haha

Friday, May 20, 2016

Week 88 - The elder Elder

I cant even keep track of the day anymore, the days are going by so fast here in Puno. It's crazy, I never really think about how I am one of the older missionaries in the mission, but now it's hitting me. I remember when I was in my training and I looked at all the Elders and Sisters that had 1 year or 1 1/2 years in the mission like....wooooow!! haha But now I'm one of those people. Now my responsibility to help those that are starting and are learning. Its just crazy to think of how fast everything has gone, but the change and the progress that I have seen in me. My testimony is much stronger, I now speak another language, Ive seen so many miracles, and really grown to love others like Christ did and understand more of his Atonement. Now dont think that Im trunky, as they say here in the mission, we are working hard here in Huajsapata and I love the work. I have plenty of time left to see many more miracles and help those children of God that need my help. 

This week was another successful week for Elder Yepez and I, we are working very well together and seeing lots of progress. Elder Yepez is a champ, love this kid, he works so hard here and lots of the progress comes from his hard work. But we have found a lot of new people lately, but we have to keep working with them to see how they will progress, but we are literally having full lesson days almost every day. We love it!! Now there isnt that awkward....What do we do? moment as missionaries. Great news with Ivan, he has accepted and we are planning now his baptism for May 28th, next Saturday. This kid is awesome, we taught him about the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom and it was no problem for him to accept all the invitations. We are just so happy to see him be so excited for his baptism and is progressing even more each week. We have been seeing lots of progress with a less active sister, Antonia, who's son just got his mission call, and she is doing super well. She is coming to church, loving the lessons we teach, and doing everything she can to come back to church to help her son too. So, overall the work is going strong in our ward, but we still need to get better on a lot of things in these coming weeks. 

Like I said before, 2 young men got their mission calls this week and found out where they will be going to serve for 2 years. One is going to Colombia and the other here in Peru in Lima. It brought back a lot of feelings of when I opened my letter almost exactly 2 years ago! But it made me think of what I have done to use all of my time here in the mission and serve the Lord, hopefully I can keep it up and even make is better in these last few months. Well, hope you all have a wonderful week full of blessings from the Lord!! Love you guys!!

Elder Shoaf

1. Saying goodbye to Jardy or Elder Rojas now, as he left to go serve his mission in Argentina last week. 

2. Eating with the Bishop's family, Bishop, his wife Yenny, Odey, Wendy, Jencro, and these guys.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Week 87 - Mother's Day!

Time is flying like every other week in the mission and Im enjoying every moment of it. Basically just another normal week of work really, but it was a good week of work for Elder Yepez and I.

This week we were happy to continue working hard in this great work of the Lord and help many of God's children come unto him a little more. Good news with Ivan, our wonderful investigator, he is all ready and still progressing toward his baptismal date on May 28th. Honestly, he is one of the many people that the Lord has prepared to listen to the Gospel. He is great, attends church, reads the scriptures, goes to the activities, and also is very involved with all the young men. Just cant wait for the end of the month now to see him enter the covenant of baptism!! His sister hasnt had much time to visit with us, so we are trying to find time to teach her all the lessons, but we will probably wait a little longer for baptism so we can finish up all the stuff. We found this really nice and sweet less active sister that was baptized years ago, and her son is going on the mission soon, but we had a great lesson with her and she ended up coming to church this Sunday too!! We see some good things coming with her, hoping to see her every week at church too. But really, not much else in the work, finding some new people like usual, and just trying to finish the mission off strong!

This week, the 2 zones in Puno had a multi zone conference with our mission President. We went to Chifron, a beach on Lake Titicaca,about an hour away from Puno and spent the whole day there. We had this one activity, capture the flag, but with a twist.....everyone had a disability, or being tied to different people or parts of your body. I got stuck with my hand tied to my ankle and having to play like that......just saying its not very easy. But it was to show us the importance of working together and knowing that we have a Savior to save us from our sins or disabilitiies that we have. Our president also gave us a great talk to overcome temptations and his wife too  gave a wonderful talk to really help us continue to work in the Lord's work. And as a result of being on the beach for so long, I was pretty burnt!! haha

And it was great talking to you guys yesterday and having the opportunity to see what is going on. All you kids are growing up so fast, changes in the family, so many things that have changed since I left, but it seems like everyone is doing great. But now its time to just focus on the mission and continue going strong here in Peru.......but hope you all have a great week!! Love you guys!!

 1. Elder Yepez and I on Cerrito Huajsapata
 2. The dog that followed us all day.

 3. Chifron

 4. Elder Denham, Diaz, Yepez, and I

 5. My companion and I

 6. Me.....obviously

 7. Chifron again

 8. 2 Ex companions, Elder Cacoango and Elder Palacios

9. I went to Juliaca today again and visited my old pensionist

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 86 - Time Flies!

Time is flying by!! I can say that this week was probably one of the fastest weeks to have gone by, just getting lost in the work really makes the time go by. But we had an average week for sure, working super hard to see progress and just  serving the people of Puno. 

Well our investigators, Ivan and Marli are still progressing super well, and coming to church too. Ivan is a really cool kid, understanding everything we say and is so prepared to hear the Gospel, and his sister Marli is also doing super well. They are both on track for May 28th, and just getting them ready for that date and they should be all good. We have also been  visiting a lot with the young men of our ward that there are 4 that are going on missions soon. Some should be getting their callings this week and one is leaving next week, so we are super excited to see them working along side us. But we have been focusing more on the less actives this week, trying to find those lost sheep and help rescue them, and help them feel the spirit in their lives again. So we have found a few new less actives, and are just trying to find them during the week to continue visiting them. But really, the work is progressing still, we have found many new people to teach and new less actives, now to just continue what we are doing and see the results in the coming weeks. But we are excited about all of it!!

This week I also was doing a little bit of family history work with the help of the senior missionary couple of the mission when they came to Puno, and I found a lot of names for the temple. Now I am super excited to do more work on our family and find out information, but to take them to the temple too. I sent 110 ordenances to the temple and it was great....cant wait to do more when I get home. Not much else really happened this week, just a normal week of work and studies and just being a missionary. I am enjoying my study of Doctrine and Covenants again, and Im learning a lot of new things about all of that, and its interesting now that I study everything in Spanish. Before hand it was a mix, but now I can understand basically everything. It will be weird to read stuff in English when I get back, but its a blessing now to know fluently another language....itll be nice when I get back. Well, cant wait to talk to you guys on Mothers Day!!
 1. Me, Elder Yepez, and Elder Ludlow

2. Completos.....aka hot dogs.......very rare to have something like here in Puno

 3. Me washing my clothes.....all by hand here.